Dynafit Spiffs Skis, Adds New Ski Touring Bindings


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 11, 2017      
Speedfit boot is based on the TLT-6.

Speedfit boot is based on the TLT-6.

The Snow Leopard always keeps you guessing. What will they do next? Revamp the ski line? New bindings? Respond to the greater “ski touring” market trends?

All of the above.

As I think I mentioned in a few prior blog posts, we’re delighted that Dynafit is addressing a new category they’re calling “Speedfit” or “Speed Fitness.” Idea being to provide gear such as boots and bindings oriented to uphilling at resorts mixed with the occasional moderate ski tour. Lower price points and simplicity for new users being the philosophy.

(Don’t worry, Wildsnow will not become “THE Resort Skinning Website.” We simply like this category because it’s part of the whole human powered ski touring picture. A viable sport needs entry points for newcomers, and this is a good one.)

Dynafit ski lineup for 2017-2018 has a much more integrated look.

Dynafit ski lineup for 2017-2018 has a much more integrated look. Names are simplified, based on waist width. I suppose a list of all models should go here, will get that together. Meanwhile, know just about any width preference is covered. See post below for Coop’s impressions.

Near as I can tell, Speedfit boot is the most unique thing here, basically a TLT-6 with an integrated shell tongue. Designated ski is their Speedfit 84, said to have “best on-piste characteristics,” thus hinting at the target group for all this. A few lighter weight clothing pieces and a designated binding round it out.

Of course, the foundation of Dynafit is the Barthel “tech” binding. You have to hand it to Dynafit. They’ve not stood still, for better or worse they’ve designed an astounding variety of bindings based on the original classic tech design. The new crop is interesting. Beast model quietly goes away, while the flagship Radical 2.0 gets a small change (see photo below) and morphs to be the “ST Rotation.” Radical ST-FT remains, as do Superlite 2.0, Speed Turn and Speed Radical. And…

Big news to us is two new bindings in the Dynafit line, that go back to basics with refined engineering. TLT Speed (285 grams catalog weight) appears to be a re-invention of the Superlite 2.0, only with normal “flip” type heel lifters. TLT Speedfit uses same design, only with less aluminum so it’s slightly heavier but priced for the “speedfit” market we spoke of above. Available brake is similar to that of the Superlite.

TLT Speed heel unit, has flip lifters, with a nice 'heel flat on ski' mode along with standard angles for the skin track.

TLT Speed heel unit, has flip lifters, with a nice ‘heel flat on ski’ mode along with standard angles for the skin track.

TLT Speed toe is said to have an easier locking lever, and  the minimum stack height.

TLT Speed toe is said to have an easier locking lever, and the minimum stack height.

Speedfit is a bit heavier, costs less.

Speedfit is a bit heavier due to steel toe wings, costs less.

Both new bindings hearken back to the original tech design in that they have non-adjustable vertical release tension due to the “U spring” providing vertical release. Here are the claimed numbers:

– TLT Speed, lateral release is adjustable 6-12, vertical release is fixed at 8.
– TLT Speedfit, lateral release adjustable 5-10, vertical release is fixed at 6.

I was assured that swap springs to adjust vertical release will NOT be an option. Would you agree that’s interesting?

In fact, I find this more than interesting. Dynafit’s confidence in marketing two bindings with limited release adjustment indicates a healthy user base of skiers who simply want simplicity, reliability and lack of mass. Despite the past few season’s heavy PR spreech about “safety” and “TUV,” look what happened. Along those lines, one has to wonder if it’s really all that hard to keep both upward and side release adjustable in a minimalist tech binding, such as Dynafit Speed Radical. Perhaps it’s not that tough, and just costs a bundle. Main thing, be aware that some of these bindings have fixed release values that may be higher or lower than you prefer.

Word I got is that the TLT Speed will eventually replace the Speed Radical. I find that odd, as the Speed Radical vertical and lateral release are adjustable, making it a substantially different binding than something with fixed vertical release that’s clearly too stiff for smaller skiers.

Also in bindings, Dynafit tweaked the Radical 2.0 into the Radical ST Rotation. This version has a clever “Hub Centering” device built into the rotating toe that pretty much eliminates the confusion many people experience while clicking into the 2.0 and having the to rotate off-center. This binding appears virtually identical to the Radical 2.0, which we suspect it’ll eventually replace.

Hub centering component visible on underside of  ST Rotation binding toe.

Hub centering component visible on underside of ST Rotation binding toe. It’s the curved component to right in photo.

Dynafit’s new look is nowhere more apparent than in their ski line for 2017-2018. Gone are all the peak names that some of us never did learn how to spell. I liked the spirit of those, but admit the line was beginning to feel scattered. The skis now have a unified looking color style, and are named with their category and width. Examples: Tour 96, Beast 108 and so on. Quite a few planks will be available in the sub 100 mm width class, per trends in ski touring gear. We’ll be all over those as the testing season progresses.

Bonus point: I’ve covered this in past blog posts, but the guys at OR Show reminded me that a primary difference between Radical 2.0 and prior Dynafit bindings is the 2.0 has what they all “bayonet locking” of the heel unit into the base plate. What this does is eliminate asking the center post inside the heel unit to act as the stabilizer and fixation for the heel unit housing. Now that a few years of real-world testing are complete, we’d agree this is a good improvement, duly noted.

Dynafit Radical bindings have "bayonet locking" of the heel unit down on the base plate.

Dynafit Radical bindings have “bayonet locking” of the heel unit down on the base plate.

Another view of the TLT Speed, overall very clean looking, and we like the lack of brightness.

Another view of the TLT Speed, overall super clean looking, and we like the lack of brightness. Again, note this offers a nice heel-flat-on-ski touring mode, as well as low stack height in downhill ski mode. Ramp angle is unknown at this time but it’s probably fine.

Comments

26 Responses to “Dynafit Spiffs Skis, Adds New Ski Touring Bindings”

  1. Cody January 11th, 2017 2:42 pm

    Heard a bunch of new Dynafit stuff got stolen. Lou you wouldn’t be trying to get a super early review pair….

  2. Tom N January 11th, 2017 3:05 pm

    Any news on race bindings? Changes to the LTR 2.0?

  3. See January 11th, 2017 7:02 pm

    Re. the fixed vertical release on the lighter Dynafit models: now that there are reasonably light touring bindings with somewhat effective release/retention characteristics (I hope… I only recently switched from Verticals on my newer skis), the very lightweight models are more focussed on the lock-the-toes contingent, and are making less of a pretense of offering “safety” release. At least, that’s my take on it.

  4. Sam January 11th, 2017 9:42 pm

    “one has to wonder if it’s really all that hard to keep both upward and side release adjustable in a minimalist tech binding, such as Dynafit Speed Radical.”

    ATK figured this out 5+ years ago with the RT. At 224 g with the adjustable heel plate, it’s also 60 grams lighter than the new bindings discussed here. With an aftermarket flip heel-riser installed (ATK makes this, but it’s a little pricey for what it is), I see absolutely no advantage of the TLT speed over the ATK RT. Dynafit – how are you still making products inferior to what has been on the market for half a decade? Amazing how far a company can coast on name recognition alone. As long as customers just keep buying whatever the snow leopard makes because they think “it’s the best,” don’t plan to see this changing anytime soon.

  5. Matus January 12th, 2017 2:14 am

    There must be a giant celebration at ATKs HQ right now! Dynafit is about to miss what we really want another one-two seasons. I am talking about light, simple binding with brakes and flat mode. No TUV, no DIN.

  6. Marc January 12th, 2017 9:08 am

    I’m very interested in the Speedfit boot shown here… I’m still trying to keep my original (cactus yellow) TLT6 boots alive as long as I can: B&D cuff pivots installed, new (Vulcan) upper buckles to eliminate slop… I was disappointed to learn that Dynafit dropped the TLT6 from the lineup this year in favor of the TLT7. I’m not sold on the TLT7 yet, and so have been wondering where to go next when this 6s are done for good. Any and all info you can get on the Speedfit, Lou would be greatly appreciated. BTW, what are you skiing these days? We seem to have similar fit with boots and similar tastes as far as weight vs performance… Many Thanks.

  7. Marc January 12th, 2017 9:11 am

    Also, just saw the Scott S1 Carbon, which looks to be a big departure from the typical AT boot mold… any insights??? Thanks.

  8. Hacksaw January 12th, 2017 9:16 am

    From over on TGR

    Here you go from Dynafits Facebook post.

    STOLEN IN SALT LAKE CITY! It pains me to report that the unbranded white cargo trailer (rented from Parker Trailers – CO plates) containing our entire Dynafit demo fleet and event materials was stolen from outside our team’s rental house in SLC’s Sugarhouse neighborhood last night. Outdoor Industry friends, SLC people, and Outdoor Retailer attendees: please spread the word to your network. Most of the items stolen are next season’s products and not available for purchase yet, so if you see any of the items in this photo for sale online or in a consignment store, please let me or someone from DYNAFIT know ASAP.

  9. Carl January 12th, 2017 11:07 am

    Do the tlt speed/speedfit have boot sole length adjustment? Will they use the same hole pattern (toe) as the speed radical?

  10. Mark Donohoe January 12th, 2017 1:23 pm

    Sam,
    In the US how do you buy an ATK binding? I was at their website and didn’t see any US dist. Order from one of the EU stockists? Thanks for the pointers.

  11. Harry January 12th, 2017 1:28 pm

    For years at on hill demos, while people swap around skis and monkey with bindings, I have been consistent with my cry that

    Everyone is an 8!

  12. VT skier January 12th, 2017 3:54 pm

    Lou,
    Have you seen any Scarpa tele boots for 2017? Our sub-set of skiers are wondering if Scarpa might reintroduce tech fittings in the toe and heels of their NTN Tele boots.

    Thanks !

  13. VT skier January 12th, 2017 3:58 pm

    Mark Donohoe
    You can buy ATK bindings direct from Telemark-Pyrenees in France. I have ordered boots and bindings from them to ship to Vermont. Fast service, and when you enter a US address, they show the better ex VAT price.

    https://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/product-categories/alpine-touring-bindings?

  14. Tay January 12th, 2017 5:18 pm

    Lou, here is a link to the patent….. http://www.google.co.ug/patents/EP2574250A1?cl=ja

  15. Greg K January 13th, 2017 9:02 am

    @Mark Donohoe
    Yes, VT skier is right. Telemark-Pyrenees is a great shop and I have had fast and easy experiences ordering from them. Snowinn (www.snowinn.com) is also reliable but delivery may be very slow, but you might only pay $10 for it. Sport Conrad (www.sport-conrad.com), Barrabes (www.barrabes.world), and Sport Amplatz (www.verticalworld.it) also are easy to order from and have US delivery.

    All of these shops carry ATK. Keep in mind that the EUR price almost assuredly includes a 19-20% VAT that should be deducted once it’s known the items are being shipped to a non Euro Zone address. Typically that’s reflected once you create an account and save your delivery address to your profile. If in doubt, all these shops can offer help in English.

  16. Kristian January 13th, 2017 1:12 pm

    Greg K’s comments are spot on. I bought my ATK Raiders, online from overseas.

    For models like the ATK Raiders, there are two completely separate release adjustments that must be made on each of the rear bindings. One for the pins and one for the rotation. The rotation adjustment can easily be mistaken for a fore/aft adjustment.

  17. Ryan January 15th, 2017 7:39 am

    I may be off my mark here but all of these new ultralight boots (TLT 6, alien, F1, etc…) seem to be taking cues from the old Garmont Masterlite and Lite Rider series, be it the buckle configuration or the lean lock or articulation. What I’m not seeing though is any of them utilizing the overlap design which seems to give the lightweight boot an advantage with driving bigger skis. Not sure where I’m goi g with this, but it sure is nice to be hauling a little less weight up a hill to rip the down w/o sacrificing in boot performance… I like what Scott is doing but man I miss some of the innovation Garmont brought to the tale.

  18. Lou Dawson 2 January 15th, 2017 8:05 am

    Ryan, I agree it’s interesting that the overlap type construction isn’t used more in the overall lighter boots. I’m sure there are good reasons for that. One thing to remember is that worldwide, many ripping skiers do fine without overlap boots, indeed even in pretty lightweight stuff. While the industry leads sometimes, they also follow trends and follow what works for people. I ski with a lot of different skiers and consistently see people who impress me with their skiing, in tongue boots. Not to say the boots couldn’t be improved, son Louie and I were just talking yesterday about some cool ideas for giving lightweight tongue boots a better flex. But most ideas involve adding weight and cost, so the constant conflict. People who really are truly human powered in their skiing tend to consistently seek lighter weight in their gear, and once they get to a certain level they don’t like increasing weight. People who use heavier gear and cross between lifts and backcountry, on the other hand, from what I’ve seen they are more willing to experiment with heavier gear and yeah bigger overlap boots. It’s all still very interesting to me, but in the end if everyone is smiling and having fun like on our tour yesterday, the gear fades into the background. Lou

  19. Wookie1974 January 16th, 2017 1:57 pm

    Cost of those overlap molds is probably a major factor as well…..a three-piece mold is far less expensive to make and maintain, and by swapping tongues, you can even vary the stiffness with one simple part.
    I like them, personally, because fitting is easier, but economics surely plays a big part.

  20. Ryan January 16th, 2017 8:26 pm

    True Lou… As long as the smiles keep coming, then the gear is tertiary. Ryan

  21. Lou Dawson 2 January 19th, 2017 5:06 pm

    Updated this post with claimed release values for the two new bindings.

  22. Chris January 27th, 2017 4:00 pm

    Lou, Any idea if the mounting pattern for the new TLT Speed bindings is the same as current Radical 1.0’s?

  23. Stewart January 28th, 2017 8:36 am

    I’m presuming the new bayonet style heel post system in the Radical binding addresses the poor durability of the previous system (metal fatigue in the post after 100 days skiing) but what about the new TLT Speed? It appears to be fully functional lightweight contender, but given Dynafit’s less than impressive durability record, and with so many proven options, why would I take a chance on their new model? For me it’d take an extended unconditional warranty.

  24. harpo February 11th, 2017 11:51 am

    Yawn. I am going to keep buying up Vertial ST’s when they come up on the used market in good condition. I haven’t been paying so much attention to gear in the last couple of years since I got married and I don’t seem to have missed much.

  25. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 11:58 am

    Harpo, I agree, though I’d say the Vertical FT would be better, used with the power blocks under the toe, of course. Binding developments these past few years are on the heavy side of things, I agree, yawn. But for some guys it’s pretty exciting stuff. Me, I use the newer stuff but amuse myself by still ski touring on 30-year-old Dynafit heel units, like I’ve got here with me in Europe. Lou

  26. JG February 25th, 2017 11:28 am

    Mounting pattern for the tlt speed toe is same as Radical 1.0. Heel uses the back two holes from the Superlight 2.0 and the front two holes from the PDG. Toe pin height is approx 3cm and heel pin height is approx 4cm. “Flat” tour mode has the heel pin holes still at 4cm, though turning the heel 90° (not an official position) drops them to 3cm. Heel has a fair bit of adjustment. Prob +-1.5 shell sizes.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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